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Breath figure lithography for the construction of a hierarchical structure in sponges and their applications in oil/water separation

Abstract

Super absorbent materials that are capable of separating oil–water mixtures have received a great deal of interest, because of their potential application regarding the treatment of oil spillage and industrial discharge of oily wastewater that both may cause severe environmental damage. In this paper, we describe a novel strategy for the fabrication of superhydrophobic polyurethane (PU) sponges by tailoring their structure and composition. Breath figure lithography in combination with alkylated SiO2 nanoparticles was used for the generation of porous nanocomposites that could be attached to the PU scaffolds. The obtained PU sponges show a extremely porous texture ranging from macro-, micro-, and nano- scale and could selectively adsorb oils and/or organic solvents from water. In addition, we show the coated PU sponges can be magnetically driven to the specific oil pollution zone by entrapping magnetic nanoparticles into the PU sponges. Our approach not only demonstrates an effective method to separate oil-water mixtures but also represents an easy way to collect the separation products.

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Publication details

The article was received on 30 Mar 2017, accepted on 15 May 2017 and first published on 15 May 2017


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C7TA02751F
Citation: J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript
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    Breath figure lithography for the construction of a hierarchical structure in sponges and their applications in oil/water separation

    J. Zhang, Z. Meng, J. Liu, C. Schlaich, Z. Yu and X. Deng, J. Mater. Chem. A, 2017, Accepted Manuscript , DOI: 10.1039/C7TA02751F

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